50th anniversary of the European Social Charter
On 18 October 2011 the European Social Charter celebrated its 50th anniversary. This major event has been marked by the Council of Europe in different ways during the course of the year.
The Committee for its part launched a reflection on how visibility and impact can be improved and for this purpose it has been reviewing existing procedures and working methods. It invites the States Parties to consider how a wider application of the Charter can be ensured and in this respect it wishes to encourage those States who have not already done so to take steps to ratify the Revised Charter and the collective complaints procedure in 2011.
15 December 2011. Tbilisi (Georgia)
Conference "European Social Charter and Social rights protection in Georgia" in the context of the 50th anniversary of European Social Charter and the 15th anniversary of Revised European Social Charter.
7 December 2011. Lisbon (Portugal)
Seminar dedicated to the Collective Complaint System, organised by the Cabinet of Strategy and Planning of the Ministry of Solidarity and Social Security with the support of Santa Misericórdia de Lisboa
6 December 2011. Brussels (Belgium)
2nd General Assembly of the Pan-European Regional Council (PERC)
Presentation of the European Social Charter by Riccardo Priore, administrator in the Department of the European Social Charter and of the European Code of Social Security
11 November 2011. Zagreb (Croatia)
Conference “50 Years of the European Social Charter: Accomplishments and Social Challenges for Croatia and Europe” organised by PRAGMA, a national NGO
2 November 2011. Metz (France)
Université d'automne : "Mobilité et valeurs européennes" ("Mobility and European values")
Conference given by Régis Brillat on values and human rights
25 October 2011. Istanbul (Turkey)
Symposium on social rights organised by the University of Kocaeli
In the context of the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter, an international symposium was held at the University of Kocaeli in Istanbul on 25 October 2011. This seminar was attended by Messrs.Ruchan Isik and Petros Stangos, members of the European Committee of Social Rights, and Mr. Régis Brillat, Head of Department of the European Social Charter.
23 October 2011. Pinerolo (Italy)
A lecture by Professor Francesco Ingravalle of the Facoltà Scienze Politiche Università Piemonte Orientale was given to the Rotary Club, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Charter
18 October 2011. Strasbourg, Council of Europe (France)
50th Anniversary of the European Social Charter
- New Council of Europe communication tools relating to the Charter
- Round Table on the ratification of the Collective Complaints procedure
- Official ceremony | Video of the official ceremony
- Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on the 50th Anniversary
- Thorbjørn Jagland
- Sergiy Tigipko
- Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
- Jean-Paul Costa (fr)
- Luis Jimena Quesada
- Piero Fassino
17-21 October 2011. Paris (France)
Various exhibitions featuring animated videos and commentaries on the European Social Charter, Ministère de la Santé et des Solidarités (Ministry for Health and Solidarity)
17-18 October 2011. Cracow (Poland)
Promotion of the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter by ATD Fourth World.
At the first Annual Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion, held in Cracow from 17 to 18 October 2011, ATD Fourth World Poland organised a stand with documents concerning the Charter and its 50th Anniversary.
17 October 2011. Ecole nationale d'administration (ENA), Strasbourg (France)
Round Table "Les Droits de l'homme dans le contexte de crise : l'apport de la Charte sociale européenne" (Human rights in times of crisis, the contribution of the European Social Charter).
6 October 2011. Strasbourg, Council of Europe (France)
Meeting on non-discrimination in the enjoyment of social rights in the framework of the Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter organised by the Parliamentary Assembly in co-operation with the Department of the European Social Charter.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in co-operation with the Department of the European Social Charter, organised a meeting on non-discrimination in the enjoyment of social rights on October 6th to mark the 50th anniversary of the Charter. Speakers included Thomas Hammerberg (Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights), Luis Jimena Quesada (President of the European Committee of Social Rights), Oliver Lewis (Executive Secretary of the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre), and Rudko Kawczynski (President of the European Roma and Travellers Forum).
29-30 September 2011. Kyiv (Ukraine)
Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Social Charter organised by the Ukrainian Ministry for Labour and Social Policy.
- Programme of Celebration (29 September 2011)
- Programme of Meeting on Non-accepted provisions (29-30 September 2011)
23 September 2011. Paris (France)
Joint Conference: "The Council of Europe's Social Charter 50 years on, What's next?"
Organised in cooperation with the Economic, Social and Environmental Council of France and the EESC, this conference was one of the events marking the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter. It aimed to to highlight how the European Social Charter and European Union law, particularly the "Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights of Workers", could complement each other, and to reflect on how to harness synergies to secure progress towards a more social Europe.
The conference brought together political decision-makers, representatives of legal and academic circles, trades unions and employers' organisations, together with civil society bodies.
- Opening speech by Torbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
- Conclusions of the conference
- Speech by Staffan Nilsson
- Speech by Leila Kurki
- Website of the European Economic and Social Committee
- Proceedings of the Conference
14-18 September 2011. European Youth Centre, Strasbourg (France)
Enter! Youth meeting "Access to social rights for all young people"
21 June 2011. Vilnius (Lithuania)
Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the European Social Charter and the 10th Anniversary of the implementation of the Charter in Lithuania, and meeting with representatives of the Lithuanian government on provisions of the Revised Euopean Social Charter not accepted by Lithuania
10 June 2011. Law University of La Rochelle (France)
Academic Seminar on the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter
9 May 2011. Strasbourg, International Institute of Human Rights (France)
Seminar of experts "Réflexions autour d'une jurisprudence de la Charte sociale européenne" (Reflecting on the caselaw of the European Social Charter) organised in cooperation with the International Institute of Human Rights
27-28 April 2011. Seville (Spain)
5th Forum Andalou on social rights, an academic seminar on the European Social Charter.
A seminar has been held in Seville from 27-28 April 2011 in the context of the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter, organised by the Andalusia Forum for Social Rights in collaboration with the Academic Network of the European Social Charter and the Department of the Social Charter. Mr Luis Jimena Quesada, President of the European Committee of Social Rights and Mr Ramon Prieto-Suarez, administrator in the Department of the Social Charter, participated in this event. The conclusions and proposals of this seminar were transmitted to European, national and local authorities within the framework of the reform of the Charter.
30 March 2011. Kirov (Russian Federation)
Seminar dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter "European Social Charter - Protection of Children and Young People"
18 March 2011. Strasbourg (France)
Interview with Mr. Luis Jimena-Quesada, President of the European Committee of Social Rights
9 February 2011. Helsinki (Finland)
Academic seminar on Social Human Rights in Europe
8 February 2011. Helsinki (Finland)
International seminar on the reform of the European Social Charter, organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Council of Europe.
The first event held to mark the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter took place on 8 February 2011 in Helsinki where a Seminar on the reform of the Charter was organised at the initiative of the Finnish government. After the opening of the Seminar by the President of the Republic of Finland, Mrs Tarja HALONEN, the Deputy Secretary General, Mrs Maud de BOER-BUQUICCHIO, outlined the evolution of the European Social Charter and its monitoring mechanisms. She considers that the collective complaints procedure is an absolute priority and that its acceptance should be regarded as a priority by every European democracy.
In the course of this Seminar, several practical and more immediately feasible proposals emerged, in particular:
- The reinforcement of the collective complaints procedure
The participants stressed the need for other states to accept the procedure so that gradually all member states will be bound by it. The participants also expressed the wish to ensure a better follow-up to the decisions pronounced by the European Committee of Social Rights on the merits of complaints and to do away with the four month period during which these decisions are under embargo.
- Increase in the number of ratifications
Three aims were mentioned: ratification by all member states, ratification of the Turin Protocol by the four remaining states and progression from the 1961 Charter to the Revised Charter by the states concerned.
- Raising the political profile of the Charter in the activities of the Council of Europe
The rights guaranteed by the Charter are at the very heart of the statutory mission of the Council of Europe and contribute to the realisation of the Organisation’s priorities. In this regard, the role of the Committee of Ministers in ensuring the follow-up to the conclusions and decisions of the European Committee of Social Rights could be reinforced.
- Development in the reporting system
There is a need to strengthen the impact and political relevance of the Committee's annual conclusions and to ensure a wider dissemination of these conclusions at the national level. Adapting the existing methods of examining national reports might be a means to achieve these goals inter alia by concentrating the examination on situations of major significance, whether because they raise manifest problems of conformity or because they relate to important evolutions in the way social rights are applied in the countries concerned.
- Prospect of the accession of the European Union to the Charter
It might be useful to launch a reflection and research work on the perspective of EU accession to the Charter once accession to the European Convention of Human Rights has been achieved.
- Procedure for election of members of the European Committee of Social Rights
Pursuant to the decision of the Committee of Ministers of 11 December 1991, the amending Protocol to the Charter (which has not yet entered into force) is being applied, except for a provision stating out that the members of the Committee are to be elected by the Parliamentary Assembly, and no longer by the Committee of Ministers. It may be feasible at present for the Committee of Ministers to apply this provision as well.
Another proposal was a form of dialogue between the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly to develop a procedure involving the two organs of the Council of Europe in this process of election.
- Mrs Tarja Halonen, President of the Republic of Finland
- Mrs Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe
- Carina Ohlsson, MP, Sweden
- Mr Luis Jimena Quesada, President of the European Committee of Social Rights
- Mrs Jarna Petman, Member of the European Committee of Social Rights